Principal admits suing parents who owned properties
A GOLD Coast high school principal who is suing parents for more than $1 million in defamation has admitted targeting those who owned properties whom she could "benefit from financially".
Long-serving Tamborine Mountain State High principal Tracey Brose sued eight parents in a landmark legal action, alleging they defamed her in social media posts after she was mysteriously suspended from the school in early 2016.
A parent Mrs Brose is suing, Donna Baluskas, told a defamation hearing on Thursday that the principal froze her assets after she put her house up for sale last year.
Mrs Brose said she did not sue some people who made "nasty" comments, but chose "the most likely prospects" on legal advice.
"I chose everyone who was eligible", she told Southport District Court.
Mrs Baluskas asked Mrs Brose if she chose to sue people because they owned a property and she could "benefit financially" from them.
"Yes," the principal replied, but she rejected a suggestion she had targeted low-income earners who could not afford legal fees.
"What it comes down to, for you, is money?" Mrs Baluskas suggested.
Mrs Brose's barrister Holly Blattman objected, saying that it was "not a fair question to say that this is all about money". The court heard that several parents Mrs Brose was suing had legally apologised to her, including one who settled with her this week. Mrs Baluskas suggested she had also tried to apologise.
"I'm aware of no attempt from you to apologise to me," Mrs Brose responded.
Mrs Brose was questioned about her decision to expel Mrs Baluskas's 12-year-old son after an incident on a school bus where he allegedly asked a five-year-old to show his penis.
Mrs Baluskas told the court her son had a cognitive disability and asked Mrs Brose what compassion she had shown. Mrs Brose defended the expulsion, saying it was made to protect other students.
"After consulting five separate sources and reviewing all the material, I determined that the risk to other members of the school community was too high," she said.